Tauren Wells, Matthew West, Zach Williams Among Top GMA Dove Award Winners

Tauren Wells

Tauren Wells, who has lit up the CCM charts with hits including “Hills and Valleys,” “When We Pray,” and “Known,” earned four first-time Dove Awards last night (Oct. 16) during the 49th annual GMA Dove Awards, held at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Wells, a first-time nominee, earned Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Pop Contemporary Album of the Year (Hills and Valleys), and Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year (“War Cry”).

“I was literally in the back with my pants undone changing…then I heard my name and ran,” Wells said in accepting his New Artist of the Year honor. “What award is this? ..New Artist of the Year?’ I am so thankful for this privilege. Thank You!”

Zach Williams earned the evening’s biggest honor, Artist of the Year, as well as Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year, for “Old Church Choir.”

Matthew West took home the coveted Songwriter of the Year (Artist) title. Songwriter of the Year (non-artist) went to Colby Wedgeworth, who was named Songwriter of the Year the evening prior at the ASCAP Christian Music Awards.

Producer of the Year went to both Paul Mabry and Jason Ingram.

Matthew West wins Songwriter of the Year (artist).

Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year went to “Reckless Love,” penned by Caleb Culver, Cory Asbury and Ran Jackson. Tasha Cobbs Leonard earned Gospel Artist of the Year, and Urban Worship Album of the Year (for Heart. Passion. Pursuit.), while Gaither Vocal Band earned Southern Gospel Artist of the Year.

I Can Only Imagine, a film based on the story of the success of band MercyMe and their signature song “I Can Only Imagine,” was named Inspirational Film of the Year. Short Form Video of the Year went to Lecrae‘s “I’ll Find You,” featuring Tori Kelly.

Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year went to KB‘s Today We Rebel, while Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year went to Skillet‘s Unleashed Beyond. Traditional Gospel Album of the Year went to Jekalyn Carr‘s One Nation Under God.

Travis Greene won his first Dove Award in the category of Urban Worship Recorded Song of the Year for his chart-topper “You Waited.”  Koryn Hawthorne won her first Dove Award in the category of Contemporary Gospel/Urban Recorded Song of the Year for her hit track “Won’t He Do It” (ft. Roshon Fegan).  Marvin Sapp took home his second Dove Award, winning in the category of Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for his hit single “Close.”

“What a privilege this is. Isn’t it just like the Lord to take our failures and our overall jacked-up mess and turn it into something beautiful. He takes our disappointments and turns them into a dance floor. He allows us to be kids again,” said Asbury, co-writer of Song of the Year “Reckless Love.”

The evening’s performances included first-time collaborations including Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly, Jason Crabb and Rascal Flatts, as well as Natalie Grant and Koryn Hawthorne.

“The performances were second to none and offered glory and revenant love to our father and his kingdom,” said GMA President and Executive Director Jackie Patillo.

For a full list of winners, visit doveawards.com.

Lecrae and Tori Kelly perform.

Lauren Daigle performs.

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Category: Artist, Awards, Featured

About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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